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Thursday, April 4 • 3:30pm - 5:00pm
S101 Documenting the History of HIV/AIDS in the Midwest

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Since the first reported cases of AIDS in the United States in 1981, national attention has tended to focus on the East and West Coasts, where urban areas with gay male populations, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, formed the front lines of the epidemic. The history of AIDS in the Midwest is less well known. Recent research and documentation projects are shedding light on this history, from the earliest reported cases, to shifting demographics in the 1990s, to community responses. The 2015 outbreak of HIV among IV drug users in Indiana reminds us that the history of AIDS continues to be written. Many of the issues associated with the earliest years of the epidemic—including fears about transmission, stigmatization, and controversies about safer sex education and needle exchange programs—endure. This panel will reflect on activities at four institutions to collect and share this history. Panelists will discuss the Wisconsin HIV/AIDS History Project, an oral history initiative; the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’s acquisition of the Ryan White Papers and recent digitization efforts; a community-led exhibition HIV/AIDS and the Black Community in St. Louis; and a collaboration between academic faculty and archivists to show how the city of Toledo’s reaction to the AIDS epidemic differs from those on the coasts.

This session encourages archives to preserve and present materials despite controversy and to ensure that LGBTQ, racial/ethnic minorities, and other at-risk communities are included in the historical record. It is aimed at archivists at all levels.


Michael Doylen

Chair, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries


Christian Carron

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Ally Day

University of Toledo, Department of Disability Studies

Miranda Rectenwald

Washington University in St. Louis, University Libraries

Lauren White

University of Toledo Libraries

Thursday April 4, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Cadillac A&B Conference Hotel